BELIZE CITY, Wed. Mar. 13, 2019
Hello, my so humble readers of my cricket column!
This week, it is with pleasure that I write about a friend of mine and others, a relative of many; also, one of the best cricketers the Belize River Valley has ever produced. Born and grew up in the beautiful village of Lemonal, his name is Thomas “Tambow” Anthony, one of the River Valley’s or, let’s say Belize’s best bowlers. He started playing cricket from an early age, when we used to make stick balls and coconut bats. As a young man, he started playing with Surprise Cricket Team of his hometown. He was an all-rounder (fielder, batter and bowler). His main area of the sport was bowling, which he commanded with grace, humility and accuracy. In his career, he has won with his team many championship trophies, cash and awards. Every team I have knowledge of, respected him very much. The talk around is that most batsmen were afraid of him with the type of balls he bowled. Those years when you played, the saying was, “You’re playing for the ladies.”
Tambow has done his part in cricket. We should never wait till a person dies for us to recognize his contributions to society, whether by sports, works or any meaningful acts. As for works, Tambow had made his marks too as the chief mechanic at Public Works Department. My big-up about him is not of work, though. It’s about the sport called CRICKET. How can, or will a person know what praises he gets if he is no longer with us on earth. Let their ears and eyes feel the pleasure of being praised.
The mode of the game has shifted from the graceful ways it used to be known and played. Tambow drew away too. The mode of the game has shifted so much from a gentleman’s game to a brutal form. Bowlers now will not use skill and tactics to get a batsman out; but would fling balls to intimidate or hurt a batsman. I remember one time I was at bat and was giving bowlers trouble in getting me out. In that inning, the bowler, with the advice of his teammate I would say, threw the ball with such force aiming for my body, I felt the blow before the ball made contact with my small finger, fracturing it. Many times I spoke to that bowler and teammate about it. I will not mention who, but one day you will know who they are. I did not then or now have any ill feelings towards them. Of late, there are so many gears a batsman uses, they can hardly move swiftly.
Back to our brethren, Tambow. One year, Brilliant Team from Crooked Tree went to Lemonal, going up against Surprise. The news got around that Tambow was sick with the flu and would be unable to play. The captain of Brilliant, when he heard this, told his team, “We got this today.” Brilliant was in its glory then. Half of Surprise team, along with captain Hazart Anthony and Alfred Banner (I think he was the vice-captain; both are deceased) went to Tambow’s house begging him to come and play. He was persuaded and came. At that time, someone said, “Mein, Tom will play. We have to play hard now.”
Brilliant went to bat first. Tambow got the ball, but everyone saw that he was not feeling well. But just being in the game had an effect on Brilliant’s team. All were out for 43 runs. Tom took 6 or 7 wickets; not because he was bowling that effectively, but because of the respect the batsmen had for him.
He went home at half-time and did not come back out because of his health. Surprise won the game with 7 spare wickets.
Tambow was also good at batting too. If a bowler is not concentrating on his bowling, Tambow will score him. I remember a game played between Western Eagles of Rancho and Surprise at Lemonal. Endfield Pook (a very tricky bowler in his time) bowled a ball to Tom, and he hit it so hard and high, it ended in a coconut tree away off. Never found that ball. Tambow looked at Endfield and said, “Sorry cuz, but you threw it up to me.” That was Tambow; humble.
As I close, Tambow, you have made your village, family and friends proud of you. You have inspired many in your time on the field. Many times at different games I go, I hear somebody asking, “How is Tambow doing? Oh, he never easy on the ball.” May you be blessed with many more years with good health always, Sir. Love and respect to you and yours!
BNCA announces ICC visit to Belize
Mon. Mar. 18, 2019
A representative of ICC from the Americas is visiting Belize from Tuesday, March 19. There will be individual meetings with the governing body of the Association, coaches, umpires and with yours truly, the public relations officer. Visits to some cricket grounds will be done. Among matters to be discussed will be how to improve on the sport in more meaningful and productive ways. The meetings will be on Wednesday in the meeting room at the Princess. The Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA) welcomes this visit.